Sen. Sal DiDomenico is proud to report out the adoption of his amendment, #254, which directs a $2 Million reserve for vendors of Early Intervention (EI) programs. Early Intervention programs are for children birth to three who have developmental delays or are at risk of a developmental delay. The services provided by such programs are meant to help support families and caregivers and to enhance the development of infants and toddlers through individualized, developmentally appropriate activities within the child’s and family’s everyday life.
This targeted investment of $2M helps EI programs by infusing immediate funding to address the staffing crisis and address unreimbursed costs associated with the workforce shortage. The funding will be distributed based on the number of children served by each provider, so EI programs serving more children will receive more funding for their workforce needs. In summary, this amendment will provide immediate relief to the 59 Early Intervention programs in Massachusetts by helping providers stabilize and begin rebuilding their workforce to support vital services for children and families across the Commonwealth.
“Early Intervention has been one of my top priorities since I entered the Legislature”, said Senator DiDomenico. “Early Intervention is a critical service the Commonwealth provides to 40,000 children statewide and over 1,000 families in my district alone. Through the four EI programs in my district, I have seen its effectiveness and the tremendous difference it has made in the lives of the children who need extra help early in their lives. It is my sincere hope this additional $2M go a long way towards supporting our incredible EI providers and families.”
This amendment was part of $3.82 billion bill, unanimously passed by the Massachusetts State Senate on November 10th , that directs federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to assist the Commonwealth’s ongoing recovery, with a particular focus on making equitable investments and ensuring that communities disproportionately impact by the COVID-19 pandemic are prioritized. Using this framework, the bill delivers targeted, transformational supports to critical sectors such as health care, mental and behavioral health, housing security, environment, and workforce development.
The Senate version of An Act relative to immediate COVID-19 recovery now needs to be reconciled with a similar version passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives.